Tuesday, August 21, 2001

Monroe board secures 186 acres to build on

By Sue Kiesewetter
Enquirer Contributor

        MONROE — Any schools the Monroe Board of Education might build will be constructed on the 186-acre Matson farm at the northeast corner of Ohio 63 and Yankee Road.

        The school board on Monday approved the purchase of about 124 acres of the property for $1.86 million. Another 62 acres — valued at $933,615 — are being donated by the four Matson sisters who own the farm.

        “It makes us feel good they want to put the school on our property,” said Margaret Matson, who has lived on the farm most of her life. “We're donating the land in memory of our parents.”

        The farm has been in the family since Robert and Lena Matson bought it nearly 81 years ago, Miss Matson said.

        Her father was intensely interested in education, spending more than 30 years on the Lemon Township school board before the merger that created the Middletown/Monroe Schools. Her sister, Edith Matson, of Monroe, taught seventh and eighth grade math for 38 years at Roosevelt Junior High in the merged school district. Betty Krause of Erie, Pa., and Roberta Pate of Solon, Ohio, also own the land.

        “I'm 400 percent for it,” said Edith Matson, who once raised llamas, guinea pigs and mules on the property. “I know he (my father) would be for it too.”

        Superintendent Arnol Elam said the board planned to recognize the family's contribution by naming the building in some way after the family.

        “We've been working on it months,” said board member Suzi Rubin. “It's centrally located geographically and has access off (Ohio) 63 and Yankee. It's going to give Monroe (schools) enough land forever, even when (Monroe) is all built up.”


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